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PRESIDENT OF WILLIAMS COLLEGE; AUTHOR OF “LECTURES
ON THE EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY,” ETC.
69 WASHINGTON STREET.
NEW YORK: SHELDON AND COMPANY.
18 6 2.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by
GOULD AND LINCOLN,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
GEO. C. RAND & A VERY,
STEREOTYPERS AND PRINTERS.
The Graduates of Williams College
Permit me, my friends, a word of explanation with those of you who may
read the following Lectures. It seems called for by the difference between them now, and when they were heard by the most of you.
In 1830 I was elected to the Professorship of Rhetoric and Moral Phi
losophy in this college, and during the first year prepared and delivered
twelve Lectures on Moral Philosophy. Of these, omitting the introductory one, the first paragraph was the following: “ If the human constitution was made by a wise and good being, it must have been made for certain ends; and in those ends, whatever they may be, and nowhere else, can its
perfection and happiness be found.
To discover these ends and the means
of attaining them, is the object of Moral Philosophy.” Then followed such
an examination of the constitution of man as I was able to make.
shows that the present lectures are but the carrying out of my original thought; but that those lectures should have been delivered for more than
twenty-five years without essential alteration is what requires explanation,
if not apology.
The explanation is, chiefly, from the pressure of other duties.
the remaining years of my professorship, my leisure was occupied with lectures on Rhetoric and Natural Theology, in connection with extra duties
imposed by the declining health of Dr. Grifin. Subsequently, and till 1855,
those of you then here will remember our studies together in Anatomy, and Mental Philosophy, and Moral Philosophy, and Natural Theology, and Butler's Analogy, and Vincent. Add to these, preaching; the administrative labor incident to my position; the publication of between forty and fifty pamphlets, and of a volume on the Evidences of Christianity, and it
may not seem strange that when the years came round, as they seemed to,
with increasing rapidity, I was only able to give the lectures as they were.
Always feeling that my first duty was in the class-room, my strength sim
ply sufficed for the demands of the passing day.
In 1855 the Rhetoric of
the class passed into other hands, but so much of work still remained that
a revision of the Lectures was not undertaken till 1858.
In the winter of
1861, the course, with the exception of the last lecture, for which there was
not time, was delivered before the Lowell Institute.
When the Lectures were first written, the text-book here, and generally in our colleges, was Paley. Not agreeing with him, and failing to carry out fully the doctrine of ends, I adopted that of an ultimate right, as taught by Kant and Coleridge, making that the end. If, therefore, any of you still
hold that view, , -as doubtless many do,- it is not for me to say that you
have not good authority for it, or to complain if you object to that now
But whatever may be said of this central point, the Lectures have been
much changed in other respects, and, as I hope, improved. Such as they are, with thankfulness that I am permitted to address so many of you, and
with many pleasant recollections of our former discussions on this subject, they are now committed to your candid and indulgent consideration. Your sincere Friend,
MARK HOPKINS. WILLIAMS COLLEGE, OCTOBER 1, 1862.
PAILOSOPHY investigates causes, unities, and ends.
Of these it is the last two that are chiefly considered in
the following lectures.
Happy," it has been said, “is
he who knows the causes of things.” But in a world where there are so many apparent discrepancies both natural and moral, he must be more happy who knows the arrangement of things into systems, and sees how all these systems go to make up one greater system and
to promote a common end. An investigation of causes respects the past; of unities and ends, the present and
the future. Of these the latter are more intimate to
us, and he who can trace the principle of unity by which
nature is harmonized with herself, and man with nature,
and man with himself, and the individual with society,